How to Connect to a Hidden Wi-Fi Network in macOS

Hidden Wi-Fi networks are harder to connect by design, so here’s how to connect on your Mac.


MacBook sitting on a desk in a dark room with a man looking at his phone

Not everyone wants to broadcast the name of their Wi-Fi network to everyone within range. Sometimes staying hidden is the best option. From a security perspective, hiding your Wi-Fi network can help keep you off the radar of rogue carriers.

Of course, a tenacious pirate can always find a way to intercept your signal and break through your defenses, but a hidden target is much harder to attack.

Even if you don’t hide your own network, some friends and family members may hide theirs, so knowing how to connect is important to all of us. Let’s see how you can join a hidden Wi-Fi network on a Mac.


Connect your Mac to a hidden Wi-Fi network

Before trying to connect to a hidden Wi-Fi network, you must first know the name of the network. Without it, you will fail at the starting line.

Normally, you’d just select the appropriate network from your list of available options, but a hidden Wi-Fi network isn’t so easily revealed. Instead, you should check the correct name in the router settings, from an already connected device, or ask someone who knows.

In addition to the network name, you will also need to know the security type and, of course, the password. Most modern routers should use WPA2/WPA3 Personal. However, you may need to confirm the correct encryption type on your router, another connected device, or through trial and error.

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Once you have the correct information, you are ready to establish a connection. Here’s how to connect to a hidden Wi-Fi network on a Mac:

  1. Click it Wi-Fi symbol in the top menu bar and select Other networks.
    macOS Wi-Fi menu
  2. Click on Other.
    List of macOS Wi-Fi networks
  3. Enter the network details, name, security protocol and password, then click To rejoin.
    macOS joins the Wi-Fi network box

If you do not wish to enter network details each time you connect, you must ensure that you have checked Remember this network.

What is the point of hidden WiFi?

Hidden Wi-Fi networks serve multiple purposes. While you get some security benefits from keeping your SSID hidden from hackers and nosy neighbors, staying off the radar has other benefits. With a hidden network, whenever someone asks you to use your Wi-Fi, you can simply reply, “If you can find it.”



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Steven L. Nielsen